Preventative Care@3x

Summer Pet Safety: Dogs & Sunburn

Sep 6, 2018 | Pet Safety

Did you know that dogs can get sunburned just like us? Everything from breed type, to hair length, to even hair color can impact sun safety for pets. From keeping them in the shade, to applying sunscreen and other sun-protection, AZPetVet’s Dr. John Graham shares some helpful tips on protecting your furry friends from the intense rays of the sun with Gina and the Your Life Arizona viewers.

There are a variety of ways to provide sun protection to your pets, but each is an individual, so you’ll need to find the right combination of protective measures that they’ll tolerate. For instance, doggy sun hats, sun glasses and sun suits are a great option for many dogs, but while some dogs are fine with clothing items and accessories, others hate them. It’s a trial and error situation, so test them out before you buy.

Always provide plenty of shade (and lots of fresh water) for pets that spend time outdoors. Try to keep them out of direct sunlight from around 9 am until 4 pm.

Remember, if the pavement is too hot for your hands or feet to touch, it’s too hot for their paws. Elevated beds with sun shades can help keep pets off the pavement and cooler.

Sunscreen – ask your vet about sunscreens formulated especially for pets. Caution – what’s safe for dogs may not be for cats. Ask your vet’s advice.

The areas on a dog that need the most protection are the nose, tips of ears, belly, the tip of the tail and, depending on the breed, the eyelids and around the mouth.  

The first and most obvious sign of sunburn on a dog is redness of the skin. It will also be tender to the touch. Signs of dog sunburn to watch for:

  • Dry, cracked or curled edges on the ears
  • Skin ulcers and/or infected sores
  • Some dogs may run a slight fever

If your dog suffers from sunburn, it’s best to get them checked by the vet.

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.